CRIMES CODE (18 PA.C.S.) - OMNIBUS AMENDMENTS
                  Act of Jun. 18, 1998, P.L. 503, No. 70              Cl. 18
                             Session of 1998
                               No. 1998-70

     SB 543

                                  AN ACT

     Amending Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania
        Consolidated Statutes, further providing for neglect of care-
        dependent people,for control of firearms, for firearms
        licenses, for firearms sale and transfer, for functions of
        the Pennsylvania State Police relative to firearms, for the
        Firearms Instant Records Check Fund and for licensing of
        firearms dealers; and providing for municipal housing code
        avoidance and for control of alarm devices and automatic
        dialing devices.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  Section 2713(d)(2) of Title 18 of the
     Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is amended to read:
      § 2713.  Neglect of care-dependent person.
        * * *
        (d)  Enforcement.--
            * * *
            (2)  In addition to the authority conferred upon the
        Attorney General under the act of October 15, 1980 (P.L.950,
        No.164), known as the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, the
        Attorney General shall have the authority to investigate and
        institute criminal proceedings for any violation of this
        section [or any series of such violations involving more than
        one county of this Commonwealth or involving any county of
        this Commonwealth and another state]. A person charged with a
        violation of this section by the Attorney General shall not
        have standing to challenge the authority of the Attorney
        General to investigate or prosecute the case, and, if any
        such challenge is made, the challenge shall be dismissed and
        no relief shall be available in the courts of this
        Commonwealth to the person making the challenge.
        * * *
        Section 2.  Section 6105(c)(4) of Title 18 is amended and the
     section is amended by adding a subsection to read:
      § 6105.  Persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control,
                sell or transfer firearms.
        * * *
        (c)  Other persons.--In addition to any person who has been
     convicted of any offense listed under subsection (b), the
     following persons shall be subject to the prohibition of
     subsection (a):
            * * *
            (4)  A person who has been adjudicated as an incompetent
        or who has been involuntarily committed to a mental
        institution for inpatient care and treatment under section
        302, 303 or 304 of the provisions of the act of July 9, 1976
        (P.L.817, No.143), known as the Mental Health Procedures Act.
        This paragraph shall not apply to any proceeding under
        section 302 of the Mental Health Procedures Act unless the
        examining physician has issued a certification that inpatient
        care was necessary or that the person was committable.
            * * *
        (j)  Copy of order to State Police.--If the court grants
     relief from the disabilities imposed under this section, a copy
     of the order shall be sent by the prothonotary within ten days
     of the entry of the order to the Pennsylvania State Police and
     shall include the name, date of birth and Social Security number
     of the individual.
        Section 3.  Section 6109(e)(1)(xii) and (i) of Title 18 are
     amended to read:
      § 6109.  Licenses.
        * * *
        (e)  Issuance of license.--
            (1)  A license to carry a firearm shall be for the
        purpose of carrying a firearm concealed on or about one's
        person or in a vehicle and shall be issued if, after an
        investigation not to exceed 45 days, it appears that the
        applicant is an individual concerning whom no good cause
        exists to deny the license. A license shall not be issued to
        any of the following:
                * * *
                (xii)  An individual who is a fugitive from justice.
            This subparagraph does not apply to an individual whose
            fugitive status is based upon nonmoving or moving summary
            offense under Title 75 (relating to vehicles).
                * * *
        (i)  Revocation.--A license to carry firearms may be revoked
     by the issuing authority for good cause. A license to carry
     firearms shall be revoked by the issuing authority for any
     reason stated in subsection (e)(1) which occurs during the term
     of the permit. Notice of revocation shall be in writing and
     shall state the specific reason for revocation. Notice shall be
     sent by certified mail, and, at that time, a copy shall be
     forwarded to the commissioner. An individual whose license is
     revoked shall surrender the license to the issuing authority
     within five days of receipt of the notice. An individual whose
     license is revoked may appeal to the court of common pleas for
     the judicial district in which the individual resides. An
     individual who violates this section commits a summary offense.
        * * *
        Section 4.  Section 6111(b)(1.1)(i), (1.4) and (3) and (g)(3)
     of Title 18 are amended and subsections (b) and (g) are amended
     by adding paragraphs to read:
      § 6111.  Sale or transfer of firearms.
        * * *
        (b)  Duty of seller.--No licensed importer, licensed
     manufacturer or licensed dealer shall sell or deliver any
     firearm to another person, other than a licensed importer,
     licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer or licensed collector,
     until the conditions of subsection (a) have been satisfied and
     until he has:
            * * *
            (1.1)  On [and after the earlier of] the date of
        publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin of a notice by the
        Pennsylvania State Police that the instantaneous records
        check has been implemented [or the date of July 1, 1998], all
        of the following shall apply:
                (i)  [For] In the event of an electronic failure
            under section 6111.1(b)(2) (relating to Pennsylvania
            State Police) for purposes of a firearm which exceeds the
            barrel and related lengths set forth in section 6102,
            obtained a completed application/record of sale from the
            potential buyer or transferee to be filled out in
            triplicate, the original copy to be sent to the
            Pennsylvania State Police, postmarked via first class
            mail, within 14 days of sale, one copy to be retained by
            the licensed importer, licensed manufacturer or licensed
            dealer for a period of 20 years and one copy to be
            provided to the purchaser or transferee.
            * * *
            (1.4)  [Prior to January 1, 1997, and following]
        Following implementation of the instantaneous records check
        by the Pennsylvania State Police on or before [October 11]
        December 31, 1999, no application/record of sale shall be
        completed for the purchase or transfer of a firearm which
        exceeds the barrel lengths set forth in section 6102. A
        statement shall be submitted by the dealer to the
        Pennsylvania State Police, postmarked via first class mail,
        within 14 days of the sale, containing the number of firearms
        sold which exceed the barrel and related lengths set forth in
        section 6102, the amount of surcharge and other fees remitted
        and a list of the unique approval numbers given pursuant to
        paragraph (4), together with a statement that the background
        checks have been performed on the firearms contained in the
        statement. The form of the statement relating to performance
        of background checks shall be promulgated by the Pennsylvania
        State Police.
            * * *
            (3)  Requested by means of a telephone call that the
        Pennsylvania State Police conduct a criminal history,
        juvenile delinquency history and a mental health record
        check. The purchaser and the licensed dealer shall provide
        such information as is necessary to accurately identify the
        purchaser. The requester shall be charged a fee equivalent to
        the cost of providing the service but not to exceed $2 per
        buyer or transferee.
            * * *
            (7)  For purposes of the enforcement of 18 United States
        Code § 922(d)(9), (g)(1) and (s)(1) (relating to unlawful
        acts), in the event the criminal history or juvenile
        delinquency background check indicates a conviction for a
        misdemeanor that the Pennsylvania State Police cannot
        determine is or is not related to an act of domestic
        violence, the Pennsylvania State Police shall issue a
        temporary delay of the approval of the purchase or transfer.
        During the temporary delay, the Pennsylvania State Police
        shall conduct a review or investigation of the conviction
        with courts, local police departments, district attorneys and
        other law enforcement or related institutions as necessary to
        determine whether or not the misdemeanor conviction involved
        an act of domestic violence. The Pennsylvania State Police
        shall conduct the review or investigation as expeditiously as
        possible. No firearm may be transferred by the dealer to the
        purchaser who is the subject of the investigation during the
        temporary delay. The Pennsylvania State Police shall notify
        the dealer of the termination of the temporary delay and
        either deny the sale or provide the unique approval number
        under paragraph (4).
        * * *
        (g)  Penalties.--
            * * *
            (3)  Any person, licensed dealer, licensed manufacturer
        or licensed importer who knowingly and intentionally requests
        a criminal history, juvenile delinquency or mental health
        record check or other confidential information [pursuant to
        section 6109] from the Pennsylvania State Police [or other
        law enforcement agency] under this chapter for any purpose
        other than compliance with this chapter or knowingly and
        intentionally disseminates any criminal history, juvenile
        delinquency or mental health record or other confidential
        information [pursuant to section 6109] to any person other
        than the subject of the information commits a felony of the
        third degree.
            (3.1)  Any person, licensed dealer, licensed manufacturer
        or licensed importer who knowingly and intentionally obtains
        or furnishes information collected or maintained pursuant to
        section 6109 for any purpose other than compliance with this
        chapter or who knowingly or intentionally disseminates,
        publishes or otherwise makes available such information to
        any person other than the subject of the information commits
        a felony of the third degree.
            * * *
        Section 5.  Section 6111.1(b)(3) and (e) of Title 18 are
     amended and the section is amended by adding a subsection to
     read:
      § 6111.1.  Pennsylvania State Police.
        * * *
        (b)  Duty of Pennsylvania State Police.--
            * * *
            (3)  The Pennsylvania State Police shall fully comply,
        execute and enforce the directives of this section [within
        four years of the enactment of this subsection.] as follows:
                (i)  The instantaneous background check for firearms
            as defined in section 6102 (relating to definitions)
            shall begin on July 1, 1998.
                (ii)  The instantaneous background check for firearms
            that exceed the barrel lengths set forth in section 6102
            shall begin following notice published in the
            Pennsylvania Bulletin on the date of implementation but
            no later than December 31, 1999.
            * * *
        (e)  Challenge to records.--Any person who is denied the
     right to receive, sell, transfer, possess, carry, manufacture or
     purchase a firearm as a result of the procedures established by
     this section may challenge the accuracy of that person's
     criminal history, juvenile delinquency history or mental health
     record [under the procedures of Chapter 91 (relating to criminal
     history record information).] pursuant to a denial by the
     instantaneous records check in accordance with procedures
     established by the Pennsylvania State Police. The decision
     resulting from a challenge under this subsection may be appealed
     to the Attorney General within 30 days of the decision by the
     Pennsylvania State Police. The decision of the Attorney General
     may be appealed to the Commonwealth Court in accordance with
     court rule.
        * * *
        (j)  Immunity.--The Pennsylvania State Police and its
     employees shall be immune from actions for damages for the use
     of a firearm by a purchaser or for the unlawful transfer of a
     firearm by a dealer unless the act of the Pennsylvania State
     Police or its employees constitutes a crime, actual fraud,
     actual malice or willful misconduct.
        Section 6.  Sections 6111.3 heading and (a), 6113(a)(5) and
     (d) of Title 18 are amended to read:
      § 6111.3.  Firearm [Instant] Records Check Fund.
        (a)  Establishment.--The Firearm [Ownership] Records Check
     Fund is hereby established as a restricted account in the State
     Treasury, separate and apart from all other public money or
     funds of the Commonwealth, to be appropriated annually by the
     General Assembly, for use in carrying out the provisions of
     section 6111 (relating to firearm ownership). The moneys in the
     fund on June 1, 1998, are hereby appropriated to the
     Pennsylvania State Police.
        * * *
      § 6113.  Licensing of dealers.
        (a)  General rule.--The chief or head of any police force or
     police department of a city, and, elsewhere, the sheriff of the
     county, shall grant to reputable applicants licenses, in form
     prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police, effective for three
     years from date of issue, permitting the licensee to sell
     firearms direct to the consumer, subject to the following
     conditions in addition to those specified in section 6111
     (relating to sale or transfer of firearms), for breach of any of
     which the license shall be forfeited and the licensee subject to
     punishment as provided in this subchapter:
            * * *
            (5)  A true record in triplicate shall be made of every
        firearm sold, in a book kept for the purpose, the form of
        which may be prescribed by the Pennsylvania State Police, and
        shall be personally signed by the purchaser and by the person
        effecting the sale, each in the presence of the other, and
        shall contain the information required by section 6111. The
        record shall be maintained by the licensee for a period of 20
        years.
            * * *
        (d)  Definitions.--For the purposes of this section and
     section 6112 (relating to retail dealer required to be licensed)
     only unless otherwise specifically provided, the term "firearm"
     shall include any weapon that is designed to or may readily be
     converted to expel any projectile by the action of an explosive
     or the frame or receiver of any such weapon.
        Section 7.  Title 18 is amended by adding sections to read:
      § 7510.  Municipal housing code avoidance.
        (a)  Offense defined.--A person commits the crime of
     municipal housing code avoidance if:
            (1)  the person has been convicted of a fourth or
        subsequent violation of the same subsection of a municipal
        housing code for the same property;
            (2)  the violation has been continual and uncorrected;
            (3)  the violation poses a threat to the public's health,
        safety or property; and
            (4)  no reasonable attempt has been made by the person to
        correct the violation.
        (b)  Grading.--Municipal housing code avoidance shall
     constitute a:
            (1)  Misdemeanor of the second degree when the offense is
        a fourth conviction of a violation of the same subsection
        under a municipal housing code relating to the same property.
            (2)  Misdemeanor of the first degree when the offense is
        based on five or more convictions of violations of the same
        subsection under a municipal housing code relating to the
        same property.
        (c)  Definition.--As used in this section, the term
     "municipal housing code" means any municipality's building,
     housing or property maintenance code or ordinance.
      § 7511.  Control of alarm devices and automatic dialing
                devices.
        (a)  Automatic dialing devices.--A person may not attach or
     use an automatic dialing device without doing all of the
     following:
            (1)  Providing the disclosure under subsection (b).
            (2)  Obtaining prior written approval from a public
        safety agency to use the automatic dialing device to alert
        the public safety agency of an alarm condition. The public
        safety agency shall not be responsible for any costs for the
        installation and maintenance of any dedicated telephone line
        or equipment associated with the alarm termination.
        (b)  Disclosure.--A person seeking approval under subsection
     (a) shall disclose the telephone number of a person to be
     contacted if the automatic dialing device is activated and all
     relevant facts concerning the design and layout of the premises
     to be protected by the automatic dialing device. The person
     shall inform the public safety agency of any change in the
     information required by this subsection as soon as practicable.
        (c)  False alarms prohibited.--
            (1)  A person that owns, uses or possesses an alarm
        device or automatic dialing device may not, after causing or
        permitting three false alarms to occur in a consecutive 12-
        month period, cause or permit a subsequent false alarm to
        occur in the same consecutive 12-month period. A person that
        violates this paragraph commits a summary offense and shall,
        upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than
        $300.
            (2)  Venue for prosecution of an offense under this
        subsection shall lie at any of the following places:
                (i)  Where the alarm originated.
                (ii)  Where the alarm was received by the:
                    (A)  public service agency; or
                    (B)  third person designated to notify the public
                service agency.
            (3)  Notwithstanding 42 Pa.C.S. § 3733 (relating to
        deposits into account) or any other law, the disposition of
        fines shall be as follows:
                (i)  The fine shall be paid to the municipality if
            all of the following apply:
                    (A)  The public safety agency which responded to
                the false alarm serves the municipality.
                    (B)  The prosecution is initiated by the public
                safety agency under clause (A) or by the
                municipality.
                (ii)  The full amount of the fine shall be paid to
            the Commonwealth if all of the following apply:
                    (A)  The Pennsylvania State Police is the public
                safety agency which responded to the false alarm.
                    (B)  The prosecution is initiated by the
                Pennsylvania State Police.
                    (c)  There is no prosecution under subparagraph
                (i).
        (d)  Suspension or revocation of approval.--The public safety
     agency may refuse, revoke or suspend the approval granted under
     subsection (a) if the public safety agency determines any of the
     following:
            (1)  The request for approval contains a statement of
        material of fact which is false.
            (2)  The person failed to comply with this section.
            (3)  The person violated subsection (c).
        (e)  Local regulation of installers.--
            (1)  General rule.--Except as set forth in paragraph (2),
        nothing in this section shall prohibit a municipality from
        requiring any individual who installs alarms in such
        municipality to acquire a license, meet educational
        requirements or pass an examination relating to competence to
        perform such installations. Nothing in this section shall
        preclude municipalities from doing any of the following:
                (i)  Denying or revoking local permits for failure to
            comply with local ordinances.
                (ii)  Levying lawful taxes and fees.
                (iii)  Requiring the purchase of a business privilege
            license.
            (2)  Limitation.--A municipality may not require a
        licensed electrical contractor to acquire a separate or
        additional license or certification to install alarms if the
        electrical contractor is licensed by the municipality and has
        passed an examination in the National Electrical Code, a
        similar code or local electrical code and has at least two
        years' experience as an electrical contractor.
        (f)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following
     words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this
     subsection:
        "Alarm."  A communication to a public safety agency
     indicating that a crime, fire or other emergency warranting
     immediate action by that public safety agency has occurred or is
     occurring.
        "Alarm device."  A device designed to automatically transmit
     an alarm:
            (1)  directly to a public safety agency; or
            (2)  to a person that is instructed to notify the public
        safety agency of the alarm.
        "Automatic dialing device."  A device which is interconnected
     to a telephone line and preprogrammed to transmit the coded
     signal of an alarm to a dedicated telephone trunk line or to
     dial a predetermined telephone number to an alarm to a public
     safety agency.
        "Dedicated telephone trunk line."  A telephone line or lines
     which serve a public safety agency which is dedicated to
     receiving transmissions from an automatic dialing device.
        "False alarm."  The activation of an alarm device to which a
     public safety agency responds when a crime, fire or other
     emergency has not occurred.
        "Person."  An individual, corporation, partnership,
     incorporated association or other similar entity.
        "Public safety agency."  The Pennsylvania State Police or any
     municipal police or fire department.
        Section 8.  This act shall take effect as follows:
            (1)  The amendment or addition of 18 Pa.C.S. §§
        2713(d)(2), 7510 and 7511 shall take effect in 60 days.
            (2)  The remainder of this act shall take effect
        immediately.

     APPROVED--The 18th day of June, A. D. 1998.

     THOMAS J. RIDGE